Sixth August Blog.
Another short piece for your perusal. A genre that I rarely visit, I must tell you. So,even if it is not your kind of readin, it is only short, so comments, as always, are welcome.
******* “Waves lashed the small craft, beating a tattoo on its ancient boards. Shrieking wind whipped the water ever higher as the men fought to keep control of the flapping sails that had broken loose from the main mast.
The prow rose high, then suddenly dipped as the ocean tossed the ship backwards and forwards, rocking like a bucking horse, trying to keep afloat in the hurricane.
“Avast there, men,” shouted the Bosun, hoping his voice would carry through the din.
“Will we make it through this storm?” cried the ship’s young officer. He was just fourteen years of age. His first commission. The quake in his voice was discernible to those close by
Another young officer, one year younger, shook as a huge wave dumped salt water over his head. The lad grabbed tighter to the rope as his feet were washed across the deck. It was his only hope. A life saver. Mid-shipman Warrel grabbed at the boy’s arm as he slid past the older man. The officer, stretched out a grasping hand to catch the proffered help.
“Hold tight there,” Warrel shouted into the nor-easter, but the hurricane whipped his voice away into the teeth of the gale. Both young Mid-shipmen were oblivious to his warning, striving to hold fast with icy fingers, wet with stinging rain.
A shoal of fish, plucked from the ocean by a force of Natural events, came tumbling down onto the heaving deck, making the planks even more slippery than before. Bosun Heggins leant into the wind, holding tight to the ship’s rail rope,catching the older lad’s jacket lapel.
“Grab the rail, Sir,” Heggins yelled as loud as he could. Mid-shipman Doughty found strength from somewhere, reached for the Bosun’s jacket and held tight to the rough material. It was sodden and his fingers slipped a mite. An extraordinary effort was called for. He had never, in his young life, had to exert such control. Now he knew that his very life depended on obeying this comnand, albeit from a lower man, someone, someday, who would look to his orders, should he survive that long in this man’s Navy. ” *********
Into The Gale.
Creaking masts heaved and swayed,
Mountainous waves burst o’er the boards,
Storm clouds scudded ‘cross the sky,
Sheets whip-whistled at Posidon’s hordes.
Decking glistened with salty spray.
Sailor men, lashed to railing ropes
Lest they be washed into the brine,
With them go our dreams and hopes.
Crack, the mainsail splits asunder,
Lightening flashes, rigging stripped.
Thunder follows every forking,
Many sails go flapping, ripped.
Bosun yelling fierce directions,
No sea shanties sung amidst.
Every seaman to his station,
Roaring captain, shaking fist.
Up on crests and down in valleys
Turbulent waters, toss the ship,
Heaving ocean, tugged by moonlight,
Bulwarks, watery, rise, then flip.
When at last the storm clouds parting
Shows a patch of shining blue,
Scrub the salt from off the decking,
Sailor-men re-rig, strong and true.
Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. August, 2015.
Very nautical today, my friends. Be good, be safe and take care.